After Colombo Telegraph’s exclusive revelation that tourism industry leaders are planning to boycott Sri Lanka Tourism Awards ceremony in protest of President Maithripala Sirisena’s participation, Sirisena chickened out at the last moment to avoid public humiliation.
Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority Director General Upali Ratnayake, a die-hard Sirisena loyalist, invited the man who singlehandedly destroyed the tourism sector of Sri Lanka by engineering a political crisis to be the chief guest of Sri Lanka Tourism Awards ceremony. The event took place at the Shangri-la Hotel tonight.
Meanwhile, Sirisena, in a cheap attempt of retaliation, today ordered all government offices to refrain from using luxury hotels for any state event. Informed government sources said it was Sirisena’s response to tourism industry leaders who threatened to boycott the tourism awards ceremony if Sirisena attended as the Chief Guest.
The President’s Media Division, this evening, confirmed that Sirisena has issued a circular strictly prohibiting all state institutions from using luxury hotels for state events. The PMD added that the state institutions had been ordered to use auditoriums owned by the government for state functions as a way of “reducing expenses.”
However, sources within the President’s Office confirmed that Sirisena was livid at the tourism industry leaders’ decision to boycott the award ceremony in protest of the SLTDA’s decision to invite Sirisena as the Chief Guest.